sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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The Spirit

Despite my better judgement, I went to see The Spirit. It's a Frank Miller film, after all - bound to be infuriating.

And it was.

It has a lot in common with Sin City:
  • Comic book origins, coming from a writer with a towering reputation
  • Iconic comic-bookish visual effects
  • A large fan-base
As well as:
  • Cliched dialogue
  • Wooden 'acting'
  • Dreadful, monotone voice-overs
  • Attractive women in unnecessarily revealing clothing and/or poses
Samuel L Jackson manages to have fun, proving once again that he is the Tim Roth to end all Tim Roths, and his Nazi scene is actually fun. Scarlet Johansson starts off poorly, as if unable to believe it's worth even bothering trying to imbue a script this bad within any life, but I warmed to her role over the course of the film - she actually manages to wring something out of it, by presenting a villain's side-kick who (as with the original Blackadder/Baldrick relationship) is more competent than her boss, and is trying to steer him towards some kind of success.

The Octopus's clones were fun, in a kooky, Adam West/Burt Ward sort of way, which would have been fine, had the film been consistent in tone. But it's not. The Octopus and his characters are in a different world from the Spirit and his women. (Actually, belay that: Stana Katic's portrayal of rookie policewoman Morganstern isn't even coming up to IT Crowd levels of realisation).

And the Spirit himself, and Eva Mendes's femme fatale? Nobody talks that way. Nobody. "You can write this shit, George, but you sure can't say it."

There's a terribly misjudged "comedy" sequence, up there with "whoops vicar, there go my trousers," and the story-line doesn't make sense. It sets up McGuffins and fails to use them, resorting to dumb Big Guns instead. And in the end, everyone's willing to let a murderous criminal walk, because, hey, the lead guy's got a soft spot for her.

Still, I suppose Miller's pleased with himself, since there's no-one actually named as a prostitute in at any point. On the other hand, there's Paz Vega's dance, for no reason whatsoever.
Tags: comics, movies
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